Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Turkey corruption scandal update December 25 - 26 , 2013 ... The ongoing corruption scandal claims Turkish Economy , Interior and Environmental Ministers , who have resigned on Christmas Day ! Bitter battle between AKP and followers of Fetullah Gulen explodes as police officers are beng fired or transferred in response to the ongoing corruption investigation slamming AKP ! Prime Minister Erdogan urged to step down as well by former Environment and Urban Planning Minister Bayraktar !

December 27 , 2013



http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-armed-forces-says-it-does-not-want-to-be-involved-in-political-debates-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60213&NewsCatID=338



Turkish Armed Forces says it does not want to be involved in political debates

ISTANBUL

DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin Sönmez
DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin Sönmez
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has released a statement, saying the army does not want to be involved in any political arguments.

The statement was reportedly released on the TSK’s official website today following some media comments about the army in pieces reporting on an ongoing investigation case occupying Turkey’s agenda these days.

One of Prime Minister Erdoğan's advisers, Yalçın Akdoğan, raised the possibility in a regular column published in daily Star that the corruption scandal may be a plot to trigger a coup.

“The Turkish Armed Forces does not want to be involved in political debates. On the other hand, the TSK will keep on closely following the developments regarding its corporate identity and the legal positions of its members.” the statement said.

The judicial process was followed and the authorities were informed about operations and practices that caused arguments about their compliance with laws or lead to different comments.

The TSK carries on its duties and responsibilities, which are defined by the constitution and the law, by staying out of any kind of political opinion and movement, the statement said. Within this scope, the TSK acted carefully in terms of law and with respect to the independence of law during the investigation and the prosecution process into its retired and regular members.
December/27/2013








http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-council-of-state-annuls-controversial-regulation-lifting-investigation-secrecy.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60215&NewsCatID=341



Turkey's Council of State annuls controversial regulation lifting investigation secrecy

ANKARA

The Ankara Bar Association challenged the regulation in the Council of State. 
The Ankara Bar Association challenged the regulation in the Council of State.
Turkey’s Council of State has annulled a new controversial regulation on judicial police, obliging those carrying out investigations to inform superiors.

The regulation was issued amid a graft scandal and increased concerns among lawyers that the government was intervening in the judiciary.

The Ankara Bar Association had filed a lawsuit at the Council of State against the regulation. 

The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) also slammed the regulation, declaring it unconstitutional and a contradiction of the principle of the separation of powers.

December/27/2013






December 26 , 2013.....







http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-pm-erdogan-says-those-who-target-him-through-graft-probe-will-not-succeed.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60154&NewsCatID=338


Turkish PM Erdoğan says those who target him through graft probe will not succeed

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet

PM Erdoğan announced a wide cabinet reshuffle on Dec. 25 after a meeting with President Gül. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ
PM Erdoğan announced a wide cabinet reshuffle on Dec. 25 after a meeting with President Gül. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said the real target of the graft probe is himself, while emphasizing that those who aim at him will not succeed. 

“If they try to aim at Tayyip Erdoğan through this, they will [be left empty-handed]. They know it and that’s why they are attacking [the ministers],” Erdoğan was quoted as saying by daily Hürriyet when answering the question on whether he was the “target of the operation.”

The interior, economy and environment ministers who were facing bribery and corruption allegations resigned yesterday hours before Erdoğan announced a large cabinet reshuffle which included 10 changes on minister portfolios. 

Erdoğan told a group of reporters during a return flight from Pakistan on Dec. 24 that the “operation” was targeting him through the Service for Youth and Education Foundation of Turkey (TÜRGEV), an NGO which counts the prime minister’s son, Bilal Erdoğan, among its board members. He implied that TÜRGEV was being investigated for requesting amendments on the construction plans of a building with the approval of Istanbul’s Fatih Municipality. 

Erdoğan said the specific building managed by TÜRGEV had been rented by the municipality as a student residence.

“Is there any municipality that does not carry out social work? The municipality constructs student residences, then rents it for 25 years. You cannot say anything about it,” Erdoğan said. 

“That place is a student residence, not Bilal Erdoğan’s hotel. They want to reach me via TÜRGEV. My son is on [TÜRGEV’s] board of management. [Fatih Mayor] Mustafa Demir and the mayor of the Ümraniye district are also on the board. My eldest daughter Esra is on its board. That place is a student residence and they take a lot of pride in it,” Erdoğan said. 

Demir was briefly detained last week under the probe on accusations of approving the construction license for a hotel near the route of the recently inaugurated Marmaray railway, despite warnings from Japanese engineers that the construction could put the tunnel at risk of collapsing. Demir is being investigated for ordering the ministry report to be shelved in exchange for bribes. The fraud suspicions led to the examination of all the municipality’s transactions within the investigation, according to reports.

‘Bags may contain books’

Erdoğan also commented about Reza Zarrab, an Iranian-origin young businessman who is considered as the key suspect in the investigation, particularly regarding his transfer of gold and money to Iran via Turkey’s government-controlled Halkbank. 

“He is an individual who makes gold exports. I know he contributes to our country and participates in charity," he said.

Zarrab is also accused to have bribed EU Minister Egemen Bağış for a personal affair. Last week, footage emerged showing Zarrab entering Bağış’s office with bags and going out empty-handed.

“They say he entered the EU Ministry’s Office with bags, but then left without them. Is there any footage showing him handing the bags off? Can it be an approach based only on that he entered the office with bags, but went out without it? Can there be such justice? Maybe the bags contained books or something else,” Erdoğan said.  

He also defended Halkbank chief executive Süleyman Aslan, describing him as “honest person.” Aslan was charged with taking bribes by the prosecutors while the police are said to reportedly have found $4.5 million in cash stored in shoe boxes in Aslan’s home. 

The sons of former Interior Minister Muammer Güler and the former Economy Minister’s Zafer Çağlayan, Barış Güler and Kaan Çağlayan, were also charged with acting as intermediaries for giving and taking bribes and put under formal arrest on Dec. 21. Former Environment and Urban Planning Minister’s Erdoğan Bayraktar’s son was among those released pending trial.

This high-level graft probe has shaken the government, forcing Erdoğan to make a larger Cabinet reshuffle than what he reportedly had planned ahead of the March 2014 local elections.


December/26/2013
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ruling-akp-totally-corrupt-should-allow-full-probe-says-mhp-leader-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60195&NewsCatID=338


'Ruling AKP totally corrupt, should allow full probe', says MHP leader

ANKARA

DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin Sönmez
DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin Sönmez
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has become a corrupt political party with a majority of its ministers involved in bribery and corruption cases, the nationalist opposition leader has argued, while calling on the prime minister not to hamper investigations. 

“The government has no place to hide. There is a multilayer graft network encircling politics. The AKP has got bribery dirt from top to toe. Those who bribed ministers turned them into puppets. It does not sound meaningful to us that Prime Minister Erdoğan is not aware all of these developments,” Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) told reporters at a press conference on Dec. 26.

Criticizing Erdoğan’s efforts to detract attention away from the huge graft and bribery operations, Bahçeli recalled that the prime minister himself and many of his ministers were alleged to have been involved in corruption cases in the last 11 years of their rule. 

“Prime Minister Erdoğan is talking about a parallel state or a state within the state and is describing the corruption operation as a dirty operation. Today’s priority is corruption. Prime Minister Erdoğan and his government should avoid staining the law,” he said. 

Underlining that Erdoğan was frequently talking about the existence of an illegal organization within the state, Bahçeli asked why he remained inactive against it in the course of his rule. “Is this a new organization? Who is its leader, where could it infiltrate in the state? Did this organization grab the state? When will you move against it?” asked Bahçeli. 

The nationalist opposition leader recalled that one of Erdoğan’s closest aides had said that the Turkish army was plotted against by the Fethullah Gülen community, which led to the Ergenekon, Balyoz and other cases, and asked whether the government tolerated such plots in a bid to weaken the Turkish military.
December/26/2013
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/prosecutor-in-second-graft-investigation-says-case-taken-out-of-his-hands.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60187&NewsCatID=341


Prosecutor in second graft investigation says case ‘taken out of his hands’

ISTANBUL

Muammer Akkaş blasted the judicial institution for obstructing the probe in a statement on Dec. 26. Hürriyet photo
Muammer Akkaş blasted the judicial institution for obstructing the probe in a statement on Dec. 26. Hürriyet photo
The head prosecutor in a new corruption case has said the investigation files have been “taken from his hands” after he gave instructions for the arrest of suspects, while blasting the judicial institution for obstructing the probe.

Muammer Akkaş, a former prosecutor in the Ergenekon coup plot case, denounced pressure from the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and judicial police to not carry out court orders.

“I learned that I was removed from my duty without any justification, while the search warrants, seizure [of materials] and arrest orders [were also taken from me]. The responsibility from now on falls with the Istanbul public prosecutor and his deputy. All of the public and my colleagues should know that my task as a prosecutor has been obstructed,” Akkaş said in a written statement today.

Akkaş was reportedly conducting a new graft investigation much bigger than the one that has shaken the government, daily Radikal reported Dec. 25. The fresh investigation was said to implicate key civil servants, politicians and even some artists.

Media reports today claimed the arrest orders had been made as part of the investigations, but they were not carried out due to “friction” between the judiciary and the police department.

In his statement, Akkaş also confirmed that he conveyed the arrest orders to the Istanbul Police Department on Dec. 25. He added that those were not implemented, despite a meeting he had with the police commissioner that would take part in the operation as of Dec. 25 afternoon.

“By not implementing the court decisions, the police commissioners have committed a crime. They have also allowed room for the suspects to take measures, escape or tamper with the evidences,” Akkaş said.

Chief Prosecutor denies claims, accuses Akkaş of leaks to media

Chief Prosecutor Çolakkadı denied that his office intended to obstruct the case and accused Akkaş of being the responsible for the leaks about the investigation relayed by some media reports published today.

“One of our prosecutors distributed you a [written statement]. It contained erroneous information,” Çolakkadı said, adding that the law authorized chief prosecutors to remove prosecutors if deemed necessary.

“There are around 200 prosecutors working in our office. Those 200 prosecutors cannot launch nor finalize an investigation by themselves,” Çolakkadı said, adding that Akkaş did not inform his superiors regularly about his investigations.

“Forget about informing via phone or fax, there are certain investigations which are being conducted without [the prosecutors in charge] giving any information [to their superiors]. There are some who inserted different names in registers, or even names that are not mentioned in the records,” Çolakkadı said.

He particularly accused Akkaş of being responsible for the media leaks. “According to our instructions, those who leak the information of ongoing investigations to the media or do not conduct a probe compliant with the law can be removed from the case. We are not doing it for the first time today,” Çolakkadı said.

Çolakkadı also vowed that the five prosecutors now in charge of the case would continue to carry it out impartially. “No evidence can be tampered with. Whoever is guilty, whoever’s son he is, what’s necessary will be done by justice,” he said.

Twenty-four people have been formally arrested under the corruption investigation that hit Turkey last week, including the sons of Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, who handed over their portfolios in the early hours of today after resigning.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) has published a statement which stressed the importance of the judicial accountability of the executive.

The statement came as a response to a new requirement to oblige those working on investigations to inform superiors.

“The judicial accountability of those who govern in cases that they engage illegal acts or transactions is a necessity of a democratic state and the rule of law,” the statement said, slamming the regulation as "unconstitutional."

“If a prosecutor or judge is thought to have performed an action contrary to law, the body at which to file a complaint is the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors. The HSYK assesses the complaints with rigor and implements disciplinal penalties on those whose crimes can be established,” the statement also said.

The new regulation has triggered anger from lawyers. The Ankara Bar Association argued that it would result in the executive’s interference in investigations.
December/26/2013

















http://rt.com/news/thousands-protest-turkey-erdogan-804/


​Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Turkey demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid a widening corruption scandal rattling his government. There are reports of tear gas and clashes with police in Istanbul.
Over 5,000 people gathered in Istanbul’s Kadikoy district and some 1,000 in the Besiktas district on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reports. Protesters have also gathered in the capital of Ankara, as well as in Izmir and other cities. Ruptly news agency says hundreds took to the streets of Istanbul.
Police in Istanbul have fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. At least four people have been arrested, according to Firat news agency.
Late on Wednesday, Erdogan announced a major cabinet reshuffle, replacing 10 key ministers. This came soon after the resignation of interior, economy, and environment ministers over a high profile corruption investigation. Resigned Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar turned against the Turkish leader, urging him to step down.
The scandal and ensuing feud between Erdogan and the judiciary have reignited anti-government protests against Erdogan’s 11-year rule within the past week.
The protesters rallying in Istanbul have shouted slogans such as "Three ministers' resignation is not enough, the whole government should resign," as well as " corruption is everywhere” and "resistance is everywhere," Xinhua reported.

View image on Twitter
Gaz. Kadıköy. Bahariye. An.


http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/pm-erdogan-announces-new-cabinet-with-10-changes-amid-graft-probe.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60149&NewsCatID=338



PM Erdoğan announces new Cabinet with 10 changes amid graft probe

ANKARA

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced the Cabinet changes during a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Ankara, Dec. 25. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced the Cabinet changes during a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Ankara, Dec. 25. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced the new Cabinet following a meeting with President Abdullah Gül on Dec. 25 in Ankara amid a high-level graft probe that has shaken the government.

The cabinet reshuffle comes after Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Environment and Urbanization Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, who face bribery and corruption allegations, announced their resignations earlier today.

Güler has been replaced by Prime Ministry Undersecretary Efkan Ala, who is one of Erdoğan’s closest aides. Nihat Zeybekçi assumed the ministerial position left vacant by Çağlayan while İdris Güllüce was appointed as the new Environment and Urban Planning minister.

Egemen Bağış, whose name was also mentioned in the graft investigation as a suspect involved in corruption and bribery, also lost his ministerial post in the reshuffle. Bağış has been replaced by Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) deputy chair in charge of external affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

“Some of my friends have asked to be excused due to the recent developments, some are quitting the Cabinet because of their candidature [at the upcoming local elections] and others are changes proposed to the President within my discretion and approved by him,” Erdoğan told reporters during a press briefing. 

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ was appointed as new justice minister, after Sadullah Ergin announced his candidacy for the upcoming local elections in the southern province of Hatay.

Ankara Deputy Emrullah İşler will replace Bekir Bozdağ as deputy prime minister. Ayşenur İslam Aile was named to replace Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Şahin who will run for Gaziantep mayoral post while Lütfi Elvan replaces Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım, who is a candidate for İzmir mayoral post.

Sports and Youth Minister Suat Kılıç and Industry and Technology Ministrer Nihat Ergin also lost their ministerial portfolios and were replaced by Akif Çağatay Kılıç and Fikri Işık respectively.

Twenty-four people have been arrested under the corruption investigation that hit Turkey last week, including the sons of the interior and economy ministers. The son of the environment minister was released pending trial.
December/25/2013

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/minister-who-urged-turkish-pm-to-step-down-highlights-devotion-to-the-struggle-at-handover.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60167&NewsCatID=338


Minister who urged Turkish PM to step down highlights devotion to ‘the struggle’ at handover

ANKARA

Erdoğan Bayraktar has handed over his post to AKP Istanbul deputy İdris Güllüce. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin Sönmez
Erdoğan Bayraktar has handed over his post to AKP Istanbul deputy İdris Güllüce. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin Sönmez
Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, whose son has been involved in a massive graft probe and who broke ranks by urging the prime minister to resign as well, following his and two other ministers’ resignation, notably underlined his loyalty to what he called a “struggle,” as he handed over his portfolio.

“I am extremely happy and joyful. As it has been the case so far, also from now on, I will move on with consciousness of the responsibility on my part for the prevalence of this struggle and sacred walk without sustaining any injury,” Bayraktar said at a handover ceremony where the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul deputy İdris Güllüce took over his post.

As of Dec. 25, Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, each of whom has a son among the 24 people still in police custody on graft charges, had already released separate written statements for announcing their resignations before noon. 

In the afternoon, it was Bayraktar who took the initiative in joining a live broadcast on the private NTV television via telephone in order to announce his resignation.

“With your permission, I want to make very short statements in the form of a press statement,” Bayraktar said, noting there was nothing he would be offended of and nothing that he would not be able to make an explanation in the case that erupted on Dec. 17.

Bayraktar’s son was briefly detained as part of the probe. Likewise, Bayraktar, Güler and Çağlayan denied any wrongdoing of their sons or the government. 

Despite such a public declaration of resignation, in the motion regarding the reshuffle which was published on the Official Gazette on Dec. 26, Bayraktar’s name was cited as having been removed from the office. 

“Additionally, Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, has been removed from the ministry post upon the prime minister’s proposal,” said a document of approval of the reshuffle signed by President Abdullah Gül and published in the Official Gazette as part of the related motion.

The move for Bayraktar’s removal, despite the fact he had already resigned, has been considered a sign of Erdoğan’s curiosity regarding his call for him to step down.
December/26/2013
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/the-revolution-turkey-made-in-its-region-has-disturbed-some-fm-davutoglu.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60164&NewsCatID=338


The revolution Turkey made in its region has disturbed some: FM Davutoğlu

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

'If today there are some making some calculations about us, if we have disturbed some, be sure that this is due to the revolution we have started in this land,' Davutoğlu said. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin Sönmez
'If today there are some making some calculations about us, if we have disturbed some, be sure that this is due to the revolution we have started in this land,' Davutoğlu said. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin Sönmez
“The revolution done by Turkey in its geography has disturbed some,” according to Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, whose Dec. 25 statement comes reinforcing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s reaction to the graft probe, claiming Turkey is the target of a foreign plot.

“If today there are some making some calculations about us, if we have disturbed some, be sure that this is due to the revolution we have started in this land” said Davutoğlu addressing a meeting of Turkish Exporters’ Assembly.

“Turkey’s rising trend will continue no matter who says what. The Turkey we have in our mind is a Turkey that is in peace, based on the people’s sovereignty, accountable only to its own nation, integrated with its neighbors and makes itself to be talked about all over the world with its policies, culture and economy. Businessmen will be our biggest strength in that endeavor,” Davutoğlu said.

“The same minor developments could take place in all democratic countries,” Davutoğlu said commenting on the recent developments in the country that led to the resignation of three ministers, earlier Dec. 25.

“What is important is to have a strong societal cement, to maintain our unity and togetherness, whatever disagreements we have among us, that we have the maturity to solve them with wisdom, conscience and dialogue, and then consolidate our democratic system and have a political governance system that trusts its people to prevail and get our vision to open up to the world moving,” Davutoğlu said.
December/26/2013







http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-economy-interior-environment-ministers-resign-amid-graft-scandal.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60102&NewsCatID=338



Turkish economy, interior, environment ministers resign amid graft scandal

ANKARA

Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and Interior Minister Muammer Güler announced their resignations this morning. CİHAN photo
Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and Interior Minister Muammer Güler announced their resignations this morning. CİHAN photo
Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Environment and Urbanization Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar announced their resignations today.
The first announcement came hours after Çağlayan returned from a trip to Pakistan, where he accompanied Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“It is clear that the operation that was launched on Dec. 17 is a dirty [game] against our government, our party and our country,” Çağlayan said in a written statement. “I have left my duty as the economy minster to spoil this ugly game in which my son and my close aides were implicated and to allow the facts come out."

"I presented my resignation verbally to the prime minister on Dec. 17 [the date his son was detained in the corruption operation]. Today I presented it in writing," Muammer Güler said in a statement. 
The high-level graft probe has shaken the political establishment, exposing a bitter feud between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose followers hold key positions in the police, judiciary and secret services.

Twenty-four people have been arrested under the corruption investigation that hit Turkey last week, including the sons of Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Çağlayan.

In response, approximately 70 police officers, including the powerful head of Istanbul’s force, have been sacked or moved to different posts.

December/25/2013

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/pm-erdogan-says-akp-dismissed-the-wrongdoers-in-the-past-denounces-intl-plot.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60129&NewsCatID=338

PM Erdoğan says AKP dismissed the wrongdoers in the past, denounces int’l plot

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during AKP’s party meeting in Ankara, Dec. 25. AA photo
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during AKP’s party meeting in Ankara, Dec. 25. AA photo
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan did not back down from denouncing the recent graft scandal implicating four government ministers, slamming what he described as a large international conspiracy against Turkey.

He also said that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had dismissed the wrongdoers in the past. 

“During the last 11 years there have been many accusations and slander attempts. We have removed the wrongdoers and we have patiently waited those who had allegations against them to be cleared,” Erdoğan said during AKP’s party meeting inAnkara today.

“The smallest taint in our record will draw attention. And when it does, we will do what’s necessary,” Erdoğan said. 

During his speech, Erdoğan also accused Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s movement of being instrumentalized in the international plot against Turkey. 

“A movement, a cause should first have some morals. A movement that sees any means as legitimate and permissible will never be successful,” Erdoğan said implicitly referring to Gülen.

“On the one hand you will speak about the Coran, God and the Prophet while on the other you will be remembered with footages and conspiracies,” Erdoğan said.

Twenty-four people have been arrested under the corruption investigation that rocked Turkey last week, including the sons of the Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan. 

Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar’s son was also among those detained under the investigation, but he was released pending trial on Dec. 21.

Gülen’s movement, whose followers hold key positions in the police, judiciary and secret services, are said to have been instrumental in carrying out the graft investigation.

All three ministers announced their resignation earlier today, with Bayraktar calling on Erdoğan to quit. Erdoğan did not openly comment on the ministers’ resignations during his speech, but rejected all the allegations against them.

“Please see that this conspiracy is not for Turkey’s benefit. If we don’t give the strongest answer, similar conspiracies will be carried out again."

Erdoğan is also expected to meet President Abdullah Gül later today amid preparations of an extensive cabinet reshuffle.
December/25/2013
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-stocks-lira-hit-after-minister-urges-prime-minister-to-quit.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60114&NewsCatID=344

Turkish stocks, lira hit after minister urges prime minister to quit

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

DAILY NEWS photo
DAILY NEWS photo
Turkey’s main stock index fell 3 percent after one of three Turkish ministers who resigned today over a high-level corruption scandal said Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan should follow suit.

The lira weaked to 2.0855 against the dollar by 14.20 a.m., from 2.0650 earlier after the minister’s remarks.

The financial markets had opened the day with slight gains as two ministers, whose names are involved in a vast graft scandal, announced their resignation from the Cabinet.

The Borsa Istanbul (BIST), Turkey’s main stock exchange, edged up by around 1.1 percent as of 11.49 a.m., rising modestly.

The Turkish Lira, which had fallen around 3 percent against the dollar since the U.S. Federal Reserve decided last week to modestly cut its monthly stimulus injections, also gained strength, rising around 0.64 percent.

Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and Interior Minister Muammer Güler stepped down this morning, being the first heads to roll over a massive graft probe that has shaken the government. 

Erdoğan Bayraktar followed them, urging the prime minister to follow suit.

Already under pressure this year by expectations that the Fed would begin to stem a flood of dollars that has boosted global emerging markets, the lira and stock markets was beaten down further by a police investigation in which dozens of senior businessmen and people with links to the government were detained last week.

The main stock index has been displaying a rippled projection after sustaining heavy losses last week, mostly on sharp drops in shares of state-owned Halkbank, whose chief executive was arrested in connection with the investigation.

The lender’s shares have dropped by almost 20 percent since Dec. 16, causing the main index to plummet.
December/25/2013


http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/environment-minister-bayraktar-announces-resignation-calls-on-pm-erdogan-to-quit.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60118&NewsCatID=338


Environment Minister Bayraktar announces resignation, calls on PM Erdoğan to quit

ISTANBUL

Erdoğan Bayraktar (R) greets ruling AKP supporters in Trabzon on Dec 22. DHA photo 

Erdoğan Bayraktar (R) greets ruling AKP supporters in Trabzon on Dec 22. DHA photo
Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar announced his resignation from Cabinet and Parliament today, further calling on Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdoğan to resign to ease the turmoil over a continuing graft investigation that has gripped the country.

Bayraktar joins Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, who also announced their resignations earlier today.

Bayraktar said most of the amendments on construction plans mentioned in the investigation had been made with Erdoğan’s knowledge. He also added that he received pressure to submit his own resignation.

“I don’t accept the fact that I have received pressure. A resignation letter and a declaration were sent to us today. I consider this wrong in such a situation,” Bayraktar told private broadcaster NTV.

Twenty-four people have been arrested under the corruption investigation that rocked Turkey last week, including the sons of Güler and Çağlayan.

Bayraktar’s son was also among those detained under the investigation, but he was released pending trial on Dec. 21.

December/25/2013